Kathryn Barger 2021


The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a motion submitted by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Sheila Kuehl to adopt a Veteran Suicide Review Team guiding document, designate the Department of Mental Health as the administrative lead, and direct the department to develop an implementation plan.

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 20 veterans die by suicide every day.  

The LA County Department of Medical-Examiner-Coroner and the county CEO convened a Veteran Suicide Review Team working group after the Board approved a motion by Barger and Kuehl last September to develop an implementation plan and timeline for the collection of veteran suicide data that would then be shared with the Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Defense to better understand how this issue affects veterans in the county.

The working group reviewed available data and several mortality review team models, and determined that implementing a Veteran Suicide Review Team in LA County is feasible.

“It will enable a coordinated response that addresses systemic concerns and provides recommendations for intervention and prevention efforts to minimize risk for suicidal behavior for veterans and increase protective supports including help-seeking behaviors for veterans and their families,” the motion said.

The working group also determined that Department of Mental Health, in partnership with other county departments and community partners, serve as the lead county agency responsible for coordinating and implementing the team.

Barger and Kuehl’s motion directs the Department of Mental Health, in close collaboration with the  Veteran Suicide Review Team working group and other relevant county departments and community stakeholders, to develop an implementation plan for the Veterans Suicide Review Team, with timeliness, and report back to the board at the end of the year.

The implementation plan should include clear descriptions of roles and responsibilities of county departments and the US Department of Veterans Affairs Desert Pacific Healthcare Network, the development of the Veteran Suicide Review Team protocols and guidelines, and a data collection guide for reviewed and non-reviewed cases, according to the motion.

The plan should also include process for annual reporting to the Board and public with a comprehensive data set of County veterans who died by suicide in order to better identify behaviors and trends, the motion said.

According to the motion the designation of the Department of Mental Health as the administrative lead agency would begin as a pilot period for one year, with an option to extend based on the plans and timelines to reach implementation.

The Board of Supervisors will conduct a virtual meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

To listen by telephone call (877) 873-8017 Enter the access code when prompted. Access Code for English: 111111 Access Code for Spanish: 222222.

To address the Board on all regular agenda items, call 877-226-8215, using participant code 1336503, starting at 9 a.m.

Written public comments may be submitted through the website https://publiccomment.bos.lacounty.gov, which will become part of the official record.

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